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Action Research Question Format

Your research question follows this format:

How does [intervention] impact [problem] in [population]?

Literature Review Process

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Your literature review explores how other people have addressed your research question in their specific contexts.

Once you've drafted a research question, the literature review research process follows these steps:

  1. Search. What sources can I find on my topic? The majority of these will be peer-reviewed studies (primary sources) from academic journals, but you might supplement those with sources like raw data/statistics, policy reports, and educational theory.
  2. Evaluate and choose. Does this source answer my research question (or part of it)?
  3. Get, cite, save. Staying organized is key!
  4. Read, take notes, outline, write. The notetaking and writing processes happen as you research. Use a literature review matrix to synthesize your findings.
  5. Identify gaps. Are there any themes you need to flesh out?
  6. Revise research question. Now that you have a better sense of the conversation around your topic, has your research question changed at all?
  7. Start over! The literature review process is iterative, so you'll repeat these same steps until you hit saturation, where you start seeing the same names and citations come up over and over again.